Sunday, 27 October 2013

The Japanese art of paper folding

I've still got the book!
Those of you of a certain age might remember a quirky TV programme of the late 1960s/early '70s called Origami. Presented by conjurer Robert Harbin, this 15-minute show was part of  ITV's children's hour during which RH would deftly create something wonderful out of a square of paper while we viewers tried our best to do it along with him.

I loved this programme, and even had an origami book and packs of special paper so I could practise between shows. I could manage the basic salt cellar, a turban and some simple animals, but only the very straightforward ones - and only with my tongue clamped firmly between my teeth in concentration and at the expense of a lot of wasted paper. Ah, we made our own fun in those days.

My lovely dragon
This has come to my mind because one of my room-mates in Cheltenham, Kayo, being Japanese was brought up with this ancient, rather mystical art. One of the first things she did once we had settled in was to make me a purple dragon, which I managed to bring home safely and which now keeps me company from the windowsill of my office. It took her about a minute, using  proper origami paper, which I think was called 'washi'.

Kayo runs workshops at a nearby library; maybe I should go along to one and relive my childhood.


  1. I had completely forgotten that programme! I too used to buy the coloured origami paper and try to make things - with very little success.

  2. That dragon is wonderful. Origami should make a come back...